So I guess I angered the HOA gods (their preferred title) by writing my post about Leonard and his quest to never see another trash can. When I got home, there were letters in the mail from the HOA about the trash cans and about my yard.
Let’s tackle the yard first. Background, for pertinent weather info: I live the PNW, where it rains for 10 months out of the year. My house did not have a sprinkler system installed when I moved in, and it didn’t need one for 5 years. Unfortunately, 2 years ago, we had an unusually hot summer, the grass got pretty brown, and I got a letter from the HOA. I’ve got a whole rant in me about the ridiculousness of expecting green grass in the middle of summer in the PNW, but that’s something for another time. I did my best for the remainder of that summer and last year I spent a large chunk of money to have a sprinkler system installed, just to appease these fucking petty fascists. The point being that I have invested time, money, and energy in keeping my lawn looking nice (despite the fact that I’m from the SW and couldn’t give a shit about green lawns). It usually does look fine.
A couple weeks ago, I went on a trip to Boston and mowed the lawn right before I left in order to minimize the chances of complaints. The grass grows very fast this time of year. I mowed it 2 weeks later when I got back, and it was a little long, but nothing too bad, or so I thought. The letter I got in the mail had a grainy B&W photo of the lawn from the time I was out of town claiming the lawn had “gone to seed.” Bullshit. Utter bullshit. The trash cans are one thing, because I’m aware that I’m violating the letter of the law, but my lawn? Are you fucking kidding me? This is most likely not Leonard’s fault, so today we’re going to talk about Jake, the silly cunt who works for the HOA management company and enforces the rules for the HOA board. I contacted Jake, the prick, thinking that some homeowner was going around reporting these things and he said that he goes around a few times per month to monitor the rules and he was the one who took the photos and wrote the letters. He also said my lawn had gone to seed and that is usually when the letters are sent out. Jake has not responded to me after I pointed out (politely, I promise) that there is no way the lawn had gone to seed and the photo (which is a blur of about 5 1/2 pixels) does not show anything of the sort. Fuck you, Jake, and stick a lawnmower up your ass.
As angry as the yard thing makes me, I’m not that concerned because the lawn is usually good and there’s little risk of a fine. The trash cans are a real problem. After Leonard’s complaints (not specifically about me, the whole alley leaves their cans on the street), the board has decided to start enforcing this rule, which means they are now the ones I have to deal with. The HOA president is actually rather decent and patient, but some of the other board members are completely fucked in the head. I’m in the process of trying to work something out with him, because the odds of changing the rule are zero. I tried putting my trash cans inside my fence and they take up over half of my patio (it’s a small patio). If I put them in my yard, they’ll kill the grass. He said he’s open to creative solutions, so I’m mildly optimistic we can come to an agreement unless he involves the rest of the HOA board.
A few notes on HOA’s in general: they suck. Did you know the HOA can foreclose on your house for not paying their fines? That’s right, if I simply ignored them, and put my trash cans where I wanted them, I could lose my entire fucking home. Lot’s of people, pro or anti-HOA, have said “you signed an agreement when you bought the home.” Well, to those people I say, “fuck off.” I never had an HOA growing up, and then I lived on my own in apartments before buying this house, my first. I read everything carefully during the purchase process, admittedly focusing on the loan documents because that’s more money than I’ve ever had anything to do with. I don’t remember any mention of the HOA, other than the fact that I’d have to pay dues to maintain the public areas. When I moved in, the giant rule book was given to us along with 3 other binders full of information that I’d never read. Next time I move, there’s no way in hell I’ll live under an HOA, but for now I guess I have to play by their rules. Hooray conformity!
I realize this is a lot of words, time, and effort dedicated to some very small issues, but that’s exactly my point!